One of the biggest issues with aging today is mobility. Staying active is an important part of remaining healthy. Summer is the perfect time to go out for a walk around the neighborhood or to take a low-impact water aerobics class. Those options become more limited as the weather changes, the days become shorter, and the cold days of winter approach.
As caregivers, let’s explore some ways to keep our loved ones moving, staying limber and getting strong to be happy and healthy during the “inside” time of year.
To get into a routine, the online site, Exercise Senior Citizens, reports that many elderly and aging individuals prefer using exercise videos. The benefits include working on their own time schedule and choosing a level that fits their abilities.
Quite often, this involves chair aerobics. Although this exercise may seem limited, it is perfect for the elderly. It is gentle on their bodies and reduces the risk of falls while still having important health benefits—to “promote balance, burn calories, and improve circulation.”
Another important part of a senior’s exercise regime is resistance training. According to Chris Patrick, a personal trainer, “Resistance training increases your muscular strength and balance, making everyday tasks less strenuous and more enjoyable. It will also improve your flexibility, mobility, and bone density.”
According to Elder Gym’s Strength Page, there are two forms of resistance training, isometric which “ involves tensing your muscle without movement as in pressing your leg down while someone blocks any movement,” and progressive when someone uses free weights, adjustable cable machines or elastic bands to build up strength and endurance.
Clearly some resistance training options will be more easily accomplished at home than others. What’s important is that seniors take part in weight bearing exercises as part of their in home care for healthy living.
As with any exercise program, be sure to have your loved one check with their doctor before beginning.
To view sample exercises, click here.